Greetings to our City of Lakes Waldorf School Community!
As you may recall, last year we conducted a feasibility study with the assistance of Panorama Fundraising. Through a school-wide survey and in-person interviews we gathered community input on several proposed capital projects. We had exceptional participation and welcomed feedback from 175 current and alumni families! Thank you all for your important input on our capital goals.
Through the feasibility study we learned that there is a great deal of support from both current and alumni families for raising funds to maintain our permanent home; it is widely recognized that upgrading aspects of our School’s core infrastructure is a necessity as our historic building continues to age. Current families’ top priority was the renovation and expansion of our play yard. In addition, we heard from the community about the importance of parking and auditorium and gym space, and enthusiasm for a school kitchen and lunch program. Participants also identified two non-capital expenses as high priorities: increased salaries, benefits and support for our faculty, and tuition assistance funds to increase diversity.
Given your feedback on our proposed capital projects, we have re-envisioned the play yard plans to retain parking while creating new natural and hardscape play areas including a designated play area for early childhood students. In addition, we plan to expand and renovate the woodshop to improve storage and safety and to create a protected outdoor classroom area and greenhouse to support our educational programs. We are excited to expand spaces for our students to play, explore, and create; enhancing the delivery of our movement and games program, sports practice, botany and gardening blocks, and woodworking program.
We hired the Collaborative Design Group (CDG) to conduct a comprehensive assessment of our building and infrastructure including HVAC, mechanical and electrical systems, boiler replacement, masonry, roof, and windows in order to prioritize our capital projects and create a 10-15 year long term maintenance plan. We have prioritized the maintenance of the exterior of the building for our capital campaign to include masonry, limestone and brick repair, improvements to the mansard roof and other measures to seal the building and prevent water damage.
Lastly, CDG helped us determine an ideal location and preliminary design for a commercial kitchen that could serve the dual purpose of providing a hot lunch program along with some adjacent classroom space for curricular studies from canning in the 3rd grade farming block to making sugars in the 7th grade chemistry block. A commercial kitchen on the third floor will be adjacent to the third floor commons which can serve as a lunchroom space for older students.
We are extremely grateful to a dedicated group of parents: Jeff Niemasz, Ryan Kronzer, Julien Kubesh and Matt Sletten, who serve on our building and property committee, and have brought their time and expertise to our work to define our capital projects for the maximum benefit and efficiency.
We are also pleased to announce that City of Lakes Waldorf School board members, Jennaea Gearhart and Nancy Lyons, will serve as co-chairs of the Capital Campaign Committee and that a committee has been formed. We have retained Scott Williams and Tony Cirone of Panorama Fundraising to help manage and guide our fundraising efforts for these designated capital projects.
As the first phase of our campaign begins in the coming weeks, our committee members will be soliciting major gifts to support our Capital Campaign goals. We look forward to providing the community with regular updates as the campaign progresses.
Marti Stewart, Administrative Director
Marcee Hansen, Faculty Chair
Caroline Askew, Development Director
Natalie Walters, Development Associate
Pictured above: Our Third Grade Teacher, William Watson, painted this watercolor of our school building when he was in Third Grade at City of Lakes Waldorf School.